As I prepared to leave Croatia I was a little disappointed that, ignoring my own skinny dipping, I had not had a chance to partake. I find the idea of naturism quite rational and intriguing but my own insecurities and British reserve have combined to prevent me from experimenting.
Until now! a quick google showed that Montenegro also had some nudist camps one of which, just over the border, was run by a friendly English couple Steve and Denise.
So it was that I set off and followed the tricky directions that led me up into the mountains, for which Montenegro is both famous and named, in search of some where to drop keks.
This whale like boat carcass reassured me i was on the right track
The road up to Camp Full-Monte (Geddit?) was twisty and full of ridiculous 15% gradient switchbacks which had me puffing hard when half way up I bumped into Steve driving supplies up to the Camp and gratefully took advantage of the lift.
Having been shown where I could erect my tent I dithered over the by now second nature actions and generally procrastinated as I tried to work out what the "rules" were. Should I be naked now? Or would it be bad form if I now strolled up to the house and asked for a drink of water in my birthday suit?
In the end I decided naked it should be and marched up the garden path, feeling a touch vulnerable as things flapped about. I was relieved to find all the other guest similarly (un)attired.
Along with the two owners there were Bob and Wendy from Linconshire a coach driver and his friendly wife who were old hands at this naturism malarky and had driven all the way from the UK staying at various nudist camps along the way.
Along with Bob and Wendy (and some other Europeans) Kate and Tom, a young American couple living in the Czech Republic were volunteering at the camp and proved to be excellent company. The naturalism soon became secondary to the people. Dicks are dicks, tits are tits and within minutes they become healthily desexualised. Just human anatomy. While under the hot Montenegrin sun being sans clothes quickly became unthinking and very comfortable. That being said wearing shorts is still a more practical mode for me when doing most things as it provides a measure of protection .
I had of course also entered a new country. A land of fierce warriors which alone had held Ottomans and Venetians alike at bay but who are also known for the warmth of their hospitality.
My initial experience was not positive. On entering a supermarket I spied what appeared to be a pick and mix stand of nuts and fruit. Liberally filling a container I turned to find a group of attendants in a state of shock. Within moments half the stores staff had materialized clicking tongues and shaking heads.
'Faux Par' I thought, but what?
As it turned out each nut and fruit type had a different price per kilo. Oh dear. A wretched ten minutes followed as the head tutter, a formidable woman, picked each.and every dried cranberry, apricot, pistachio, almond and the rest from my large container weighing each separately Pausing after each item to give me an evil eye as if to say "you are the cause of all my woes" and to sigh loudly.
All the while I apologised profusely as an ever growing crowd of Montenegrins joined the wait. Each of course was told the story of my crime by the loitering crowd of staff. I had it appeared single handedly brought the economic system of the country to a halt.
I suggested that I simply paid for the whole weight at the highest cost per kilo of the items. You would think I had suggested I pay in feces.
"It is not price which is the issue."
Thoroughly confused as to what the issue was I continued to stand there letting the mortification and stress mount.
The last straw came when I walked off sheepishly with a container covered in receipts and reached the till. The cashier looked aghast at this paper plastered monstrosity before proceeding to tell me "no beers."
A punishment for my nut based crime?
After what seemed like an eternity passed; with me going to the beer aisle and returning with different beers, before the cashier took me by the hand and pointed at cans rather than bottles.
It would appear I could not be trusted with glass. Given my shopping ineptitude this was perhaps a wise move on her part. All but running to the exit desperate to be free from the accusatory stares of my fellow shoppers I swore to never set foot in another Montenegrin supermarket. I'm sure their devastated.
The offending article